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The FRA Designates a Locomotive as a Train?

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The FRA Designates a Locomotive as a Train?
Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, September 17, 2021 1:59 PM
 

When and why did the FRA determine a single locomotive was a train? Also.. Did they do this to simplify rules for train movement when it comes to single units?

 
 
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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, September 17, 2021 2:50 PM

SD60MAC9500
When and why did the FRA determine a single locomotive was a train? Also.. Did they do this to simply rules for train movement when it comes to single units?

Don't know about the FRA.  Since near forever, RR rule books have defined a train as a locomotive with or without cars.

In steam days a steam engine was a 'single unit'; of course it could not be operated under MU control.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Friday, September 17, 2021 3:03 PM

The current CROR definition of "train" is:

- An engine with or without cars intended to operate on the main track at speeds in excess of 15 MPH or a track unit when so designated.

 

This is very similar to the 1962 Canadian UCOR's definition of "train":

- An engine or more than one engine coupled, with or without cars, displaying markers.

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Posted by tree68 on Friday, September 17, 2021 3:13 PM

CSX's Q353 regularly meanders east through Deshler with just two locomotives, having dropped it's consist somewhere to the west.  

IIRC, it picks up cars at North Baltimore, or possible Fostoria, and continues east looking like a "real" train.

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Posted by cv_acr on Friday, September 17, 2021 3:14 PM

Absolutely.

A single engine moving out on the mainline follows all the same rules as a "train" with cars, so yes, the rules are written such that a single engine with no cars is considered a "train".

Any rules/regulations applying to "trains" therefore apply regardless of the number of engines and cars.

Also note that "rulebook" definitions of "engine" include "single or multiple units", so a multiple unit set of engines moving around in a yard or industrial area follows the same rules as a single engine. (Usually this definitation also includes wording like "under one set of controls", so double-headed steam engines = 2 "engines". Any number of consisted diesel locomotives = 1 "engine" for operating rules purposes.)

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, September 20, 2021 6:50 PM
 

Appreciate the info folksYes

 
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Posted by BEAUSABRE on Monday, September 20, 2021 7:27 PM

SD70Dude
displaying markers

This was the key, it had to display markers so other employees could tell when a train had passed

Assume you are in a siding, and "Old Number 12" comes by, right on schedule, but not displaying markers. Can you you leave the siding for the main track? 

NO 

You have stay put until the car bearing its markers passes your location. For all you know Number 12 has split his train to "double the hill" and the locomotive will be returning to pick up the second half of his train including the car displaying markers. You can either run into the second half of his train or he may rear end you if you leave the siding

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Monday, September 20, 2021 7:57 PM

cv_acr

Absolutely.

A single engine moving out on the mainline follows all the same rules as a "train" with cars, so yes, the rules are written such that a single engine with no cars is considered a "train".

Any rules/regulations applying to "trains" therefore apply regardless of the number of engines and cars.

Also note that "rulebook" definitions of "engine" include "single or multiple units", so a multiple unit set of engines moving around in a yard or industrial area follows the same rules as a single engine. (Usually this definitation also includes wording like "under one set of controls", so double-headed steam engines = 2 "engines". Any number of consisted diesel locomotives = 1 "engine" for operating rules purposes.)

 

 

What about DPU units?  They are under the "set of controls" of the lead unit that part of the time when their radio signal is not blocked, under which conditions they revert to some rules as to what they should do?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, September 20, 2021 8:00 PM

BEAUSABRE
 
SD70Dude
displaying markers 

This was the key, it had to display markers so other employees could tell when a train had passed

Assume you are in a siding, and "Old Number 12" comes by, right on schedule, but not displaying markers. Can you you leave the siding for the main track? 

NO 

You have stay put until the car bearing its markers passes your location. For all you know Number 12 has split his train to "double the hill" and the locomotive will be returning to pick up the second half of his train including the car displaying markers. You can either run into the second half of his train or he may rear end you if you leave the siding

Nomenclature problem in the 21st Century.  Without caboose, trains are not displaying 'markers' on the rear as normal freight cars don't have the provisions to hang markers.  They are displaying a End of Train Divice, a Red Flag by Day or a Red Light by night.

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Monday, September 20, 2021 11:17 PM
 

BaltACD

 

 
BEAUSABRE
 
SD70Dude
displaying markers 

This was the key, it had to display markers so other employees could tell when a train had passed

Assume you are in a siding, and "Old Number 12" comes by, right on schedule, but not displaying markers. Can you you leave the siding for the main track? 

NO 

You have stay put until the car bearing its markers passes your location. For all you know Number 12 has split his train to "double the hill" and the locomotive will be returning to pick up the second half of his train including the car displaying markers. You can either run into the second half of his train or he may rear end you if you leave the siding

 

Nomenclature problem in the 21st Century.  Without caboose, trains are not displaying 'markers' on the rear as normal freight cars don't have the provisions to hang markers.  They are displaying a End of Train Divice, a Red Flag by Day or a Red Light by night.

 

Wouldn't FRED or Flags "mark" the end of the train? Hence making them markers?

 
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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, September 20, 2021 11:43 PM

SD60MAC9500
 
BaltACD 
BEAUSABRE 
SD70Dude
displaying markers 

This was the key, it had to display markers so other employees could tell when a train had passed

Assume you are in a siding, and "Old Number 12" comes by, right on schedule, but not displaying markers. Can you you leave the siding for the main track? 

NO 

You have stay put until the car bearing its markers passes your location. For all you know Number 12 has split his train to "double the hill" and the locomotive will be returning to pick up the second half of his train including the car displaying markers. You can either run into the second half of his train or he may rear end you if you leave the siding 

Nomenclature problem in the 21st Century.  Without caboose, trains are not displaying 'markers' on the rear as normal freight cars don't have the provisions to hang markers.  They are displaying a End of Train Divice, a Red Flag by Day or a Red Light by night. 

Wouldn't FRED or Flags "mark" the end of the train? Hence making them markers?

End of Train devices - mark the end of the train, they can be seen visually in daylight and they have a flashing red light during hours of darkness.

Markers is a term that originated when oil lamps were affixed to the rear of all trains - freight and passenger.  The 'normal' end of a freight train was the caboose which had brackets for hanging the oil lamps.  Passenger cars for most railroads also had brackets to hang the oil lamps to denote the end of the train.  Most rule books allow a Red Flag to be used to denote the rear of a train in daylight.

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Posted by adkrr64 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 6:54 AM

Paul Milenkovic
What about DPU units?

For the purposes of defining the end  of a train, any trailing locomotive (DPU or manned) typically has the headlight on dim, which is a suitable EOT marker per NORAC.

Also per NORAC, passenger trains must have an illuminated EOT marker at all times, even during the day. All Amtrak cars and Amtrak certified private cars have those marker lights built into them.

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Posted by traisessive1 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 8:26 AM

Or in the case of the Canadian rules, the DPU is the marker. A light of any kind or a red marker is not required to mark the tail end of a train when a DPU or air car is the last piece of equipment in a train. It's crazy, but that's the rule. 

 

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 9:24 AM

BaltACD

Nomenclature problem in the 21st Century.  Without caboose, trains are not displaying 'markers' on the rear as normal freight cars don't have the provisions to hang markers.  They are displaying a End of Train Divice, a Red Flag by Day or a Red Light by night.

On the contrary, those all qualify under the marker rule.

For example, marker rules from the older Canadian 1962 UCOR:

19. MARKERS – the following signals will be displayed to the rear of every train to indicate the rear of the train.

 

By day – markers not lighted.

By Night:On single track and when running with the current of traffic on two tracks, markers lighted displaying red to the rear.On two tracks, when standing or running against current of traffic, markers lighted displaying red to the rear on the outside, and green to the rear on the inside.

On more than two tracks, when running with the current of traffic, or when standing or running against the current of traffic, markers lighted displaying red to the rear unless otherwise directed by special instructions.

 

When a train is clear of the main track to be passed by another train, lighted markers will display green to the rear.

 

When the rear of a train is equipped with built-in markers, they must be lighted by day and by night.

 

When a train is equipped to display a single flashing type marker it will be unlighted by day; by night it will display flashing red to the rear, except when clear of the main track to be passed by another train it will display flashing green to the rear.

 

EXCEPTION: The requirement that markers display green to the rear when clear of main track does not apply in CTC.

 

19A. A train not equipped to display markers as prescribed by Rule 19 will display a red flag by day and a red light by night to indicate the rear. The red light will be replaced by a white light when the train is clear of main track.

 

EXCEPTION: The red light will not be replaced by a white light in CTC.

Red flag or FRED/EOT fulfills the requirements of Rule 19A, which fulfils the definition of "Train" as "An engine or more than one engine coupled, with or without cars, displaying markers."

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 9:32 AM

Paul Milenkovic

 

 
cv_acr

Absolutely.

A single engine moving out on the mainline follows all the same rules as a "train" with cars, so yes, the rules are written such that a single engine with no cars is considered a "train".

Any rules/regulations applying to "trains" therefore apply regardless of the number of engines and cars.

Also note that "rulebook" definitions of "engine" include "single or multiple units", so a multiple unit set of engines moving around in a yard or industrial area follows the same rules as a single engine. (Usually this definitation also includes wording like "under one set of controls", so double-headed steam engines = 2 "engines". Any number of consisted diesel locomotives = 1 "engine" for operating rules purposes.)

 

What about DPU units?  They are under the "set of controls" of the lead unit that part of the time when their radio signal is not blocked, under which conditions they revert to some rules as to what they should do?

 

 

I think you're maybe missing the point on this one. I can't think of any operating rules that would be changed by having DPUs. (Other than allowing the dim headlight on the rear loco as the "marker".)

The point is that any operating rules for "trains" apply regardless of the number of engines and cars. e.g. any movement outside of yard limits needs to be properly authorized as a train. If you run a set of light power from one town to another on the main line it must follow all the same rules and procedures as a 200 car train with front, mid-train and tail-end DPU.

Some rules are specific to "trains" (sort of implying that a movement must be a proper train in those situations). Some rules apply to "trains and/or engines" (e.g. yard limit rules, non-main track operating rules, etc. where switch engines can be moving. Switch engines aren't handled as "trains".)

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Posted by adkrr64 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 10:12 AM

traisessive1
Or in the case of the Canadian rules, the DPU is the marker. A light of any kind or a red marker is not required to mark the tail end of a train when a DPU or air car is the last piece of equipment in a train. It's crazy, but that's the rule.

Interesting. While it would likely never happen in practice, it leaves open the possibility that a train with mid-train DPUs could be separated just behind the mid-train DPU, at which point someone could then assume the formerly mid-train DPU was the end of the train. It'll never happen, until it does.....

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Posted by cv_acr on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 10:48 AM

Here's the modern definition from the current Canadian Rail Operating Rules (right in the "Definitions" section and not a numbered rule):

MARKER
When used, will indicate the last piece of equipment in a movement. It will be one of the following:

  • a red light, a red reflectorized plaque, a sense and braking unit (SBU), or
  • an occupied caboose, distributed power remote locomotive consist or distributed braking car, when the last piece of equipment in the direction of travel.

It's possible other rulebooks may vary, but should be "similar".

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 12:04 PM

CSX 2014 version of 'Markers'

CSX Book of Rules Effective 1/1/2014

205 - End-of-Train Marker

205.1 A marker must be displayed on the rear car of a train when occupying a controlled track except where the authority for movement is or includes:

a. Main track yard limits non-signaled (YL), or
b. Main track yard limits signaled (YL-S).

205.2 From one hour before sunset until one hour after sunrise, or when conditions restrict visibility to onehalf mile or less on tangent track, the marker must be:

a. An illuminated red or orange-amber light, or
b. A red or orange-amber light equipped with automatic activation, or
c. A red flag only when moving no further than the next repair point if a defective car prevents the placement of an illuminated marker.

205.3 From one hour after sunrise until one hour before sunset the marker may be:

a. A red flag, or 
b. A non-illuminated end-of-train device (EOT) or red (orange-amber) marker light.

205.4 The rear locomotive headlight on dim may be used as a marker for:

a. A locomotive consist without cars, or
b. A single locomotive, or
c. A locomotive on the rear of the train.

205.5 If a marker is required to be illuminated, it must be inspected before departing the initial terminal or crew change point by:

a. Crewmember or another qualified employee, or
b. Information displayed by the head-of-train device (HTD).

205.6 If the inspection of a marker is to be performed by an employee who is not a member of the train crew, protection must be provided before the employee fouls the equipment. The protection must be:

a. Blue signal protection when the train is standing on other than a main track, or
b. Obtained by the employee when the train is standing on a main track. Prior to fouling the equipment to perform the inspection, the employee must confirm three-step protection has been applied by the locomotive operator.

205.7 When performing an inspection of a marker that is required to be illuminated, the employee performing the inspection must:

1. Verify the marker is illuminated or will illuminate by pressing the activation switch or covering the photoelectric cell, and
2. Communicate the results to the locomotive operator.

205.8 Employees must observe passing trains for markers. If the marker is not properly displayed, notify the crew of the passing train. If unable to contact the passing train, notify the train dispatcher.

205.9 If a marker fails en route:
1. Report the occurrence to the train dispatcher, and
2. Proceed to the next location where the marker light can be repaired or replaced.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 12:44 PM

adkrr64
traisessive1
Or in the case of the Canadian rules, the DPU is the marker. A light of any kind or a red marker is not required to mark the tail end of a train when a DPU or air car is the last piece of equipment in a train. It's crazy, but that's the rule.

Interesting. While it would likely never happen in practice, it leaves open the possibility that a train with mid-train DPUs could be separated just behind the mid-train DPU, at which point someone could then assume the formerly mid-train DPU was the end of the train. It'll never happen, until it does.....

We (CN in western Canada) got a bulletin a few years ago emphasizing the importance of confirming that the DP remote is indeed the final piece of equipment in the movement in this sort of situation.  I remember speculating at the time that there was probably a close call as you described (most of our bulletins are issued after incidents), but I never did hear if something actually happened.  

Some guys turn the red lights on if the DP unit is in the middle of the train.  Others don't turn them on at all and leave the number lights or a dimmed headlight on, or some combination of all those options (to say nothing of leaving the mirrors and awnings out).  

CN has continued to buy new power with red marker lights, they are the last freight Class I to do so.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 12:55 PM

When I put together a train that will have a midtrain DP, I will ask the conductor or yard utility to shut off the DP's headlight after it is positioned.  Just in case for some reason the train should get split behind the DP enroute on line, so someone doesn't mistake it for the end of the train.

Most don't turn off a midtrain DP's headlight.  I see them on all the time.

Years ago there was talk of developing a red light that would fit into the MU receptacle socket on a locomotive.  Using that instead of the locomotive's headlight for a marker.  It was thought to be a better option, but nothing came of it. 

Jeff   

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:09 PM

Wow.

You still have yard utility employees!?

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:15 PM

SD70Dude

Wow.

You still have yard utility employees!?

 

Yes, and sometimes they even help the through trains working the yard.  As they are supposed to.

Jeff

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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 1:56 PM

jeffhergert

When I put together a train that will have a midtrain DP, I will ask the conductor or yard utility to shut off the DP's headlight after it is positioned.  Just in case for some reason the train should get split behind the DP enroute on line, so someone doesn't mistake it for the end of the train.

Most don't turn off a midtrain DP's headlight.  I see them on all the time.

Years ago there was talk of developing a red light that would fit into the MU receptacle socket on a locomotive.  Using that instead of the locomotive's headlight for a marker.  It was thought to be a better option, but nothing came of it. 

Jeff   

 

 

So I thought that from an earlier post in this thread, if a train get split in two in a drawbar separation accident or if it is intentionally parted, as in the example of leaving cars behind to "double the hill", it is still one train because there is one set of markers indicating its end?  Or is this definition only needed for Timetable and Train order operations, which no one uses anymore?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by adkrr64 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 2:47 PM

Paul Milenkovic
So I thought that from an earlier post in this thread, if a train get split in two in a drawbar separation accident or if it is intentionally parted, as in the example of leaving cars behind to "double the hill", it is still one train because there is one set of markers indicating its end?  Or is this definition only needed for Timetable and Train order operations, which no one uses anymore?

Still one train. In the case of doubling the hill, the locomotives would take the first string of cars to the top of the hill, without any rear marker. Anyone seeing such a consist pass (and knowing the rules) will know that is not the entire train. The marker stays on the section left behind.

This is not just a TT&TO thing. There are many scenarios where this can come into play. Besides doubling hills, this can be important if a train is doing switching en-route. A crew might leave a portion of the train on the main, travel ahead to make pick-ups or setouts over the next few miles before returning to the rear section. It probably comes into play more in dark territory than CTC territory, since (presumably) a dispatcher will always know if a section of a train is left somewhere in CTC territory. But the guys with CTC experience (which does not include me) will know better than I.

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Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 8:41 PM

adkrr64
 
Paul Milenkovic
So I thought that from an earlier post in this thread, if a train get split in two in a drawbar separation accident or if it is intentionally parted, as in the example of leaving cars behind to "double the hill", it is still one train because there is one set of markers indicating its end?  Or is this definition only needed for Timetable and Train order operations, which no one uses anymore? 

Still one train. In the case of doubling the hill, the locomotives would take the first string of cars to the top of the hill, without any rear marker. Anyone seeing such a consist pass (and knowing the rules) will know that is not the entire train. The marker stays on the section left behind.

This is not just a TT&TO thing. There are many scenarios where this can come into play. Besides doubling hills, this can be important if a train is doing switching en-route. A crew might leave a portion of the train on the main, travel ahead to make pick-ups or setouts over the next few miles before returning to the rear section. It probably comes into play more in dark territory than CTC territory, since (presumably) a dispatcher will always know if a section of a train is left somewhere in CTC territory. But the guys with CTC experience (which does not include me) will know better than I.

Identification of the 'complete' train is vital in all forms of DARK territory operation where it is necessary for trains to meet.  Each train must know that the one they just met is complete with a 'legal' rear end.  Dispatcher also needs to know the trains are complete and have cleared specific territory before authority for that territory can be issued to another train.

At one time CSX in the operation of DARK territories under both Direct Train Control and Track Warrant forms of operation had 'after arrival' authorities, where running meets could be authorized in DARK territories.  After several incidents, CSX banned the use of 'after arrival' authorities.

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 9:32 PM

jeffhergert
Years ago there was talk of developing a red light that would fit into the MU receptacle socket on a locomotive.  Using that instead of the locomotive's headlight for a marker.  It was thought to be a better option, but nothing came of it. 

I once read FRA was considering requiring red markers for DPUs, but I'm guessing the railroads cried about it. 

I don't use DPUs where I work, but we do run push-pull for locals a lot, and I Wish we had red markers (on most of our newer/rebuilt engines - a dim headlight is barely any dimmer than bright).  But we usually hang a marker for ease of brake tests, so we can use that most times instead. 

   The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 9:34 PM

jeffhergert
Yes, and sometimes they even help the through trains working the yard.  As they are supposed to.

Man, I loved when we had utilities.  My favorite job. Of course I kept busy and actually helped trains - made the day go by fast.  

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 11:16 PM

adkrr64
Paul Milenkovic
So I thought that from an earlier post in this thread, if a train get split in two in a drawbar separation accident or if it is intentionally parted, as in the example of leaving cars behind to "double the hill", it is still one train because there is one set of markers indicating its end?  Or is this definition only needed for Timetable and Train order operations, which no one uses anymore?

Still one train. In the case of doubling the hill, the locomotives would take the first string of cars to the top of the hill, without any rear marker. Anyone seeing such a consist pass (and knowing the rules) will know that is not the entire train. The marker stays on the section left behind.

This is not just a TT&TO thing. There are many scenarios where this can come into play. Besides doubling hills, this can be important if a train is doing switching en-route. A crew might leave a portion of the train on the main, travel ahead to make pick-ups or setouts over the next few miles before returning to the rear section. It probably comes into play more in dark territory than CTC territory, since (presumably) a dispatcher will always know if a section of a train is left somewhere in CTC territory. But the guys with CTC experience (which does not include me) will know better than I.

Train crews have to be careful with this in CTC or around interlockings, if the two portions of the train end up on different sides of a controlled location they become separate movements for the purposes of rule compliance.  

We had an incident a year or two ago where a train separated while pulling out of a siding, and happened to stop with the rear portion entirely in the siding and the forward portion on the main track past the switch and signals, with no equipment occupying the controlled location.

The relatively new conductor walked back to the separation, closed the angle cock, and instructed the engineer to back up to the joint, in the process going through a stop signal that he didn't have permission to pass.  

Greetings from Alberta

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